Buoyant economy needs strong maritime force: Mehta

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Mumbai, Sep 20 (UNI) Averring that buoyant economy needs a strong maritime force, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sureesh Mehta today said the navy is expected to take a big leap by 2022, when it will have 160 ships and 400 aircraft.

Talking to reporters at the function of announcement of a programme by Nat Geo 'Mission Navy: Leharon ke Sartaj', he said the navy is the fifth largest in the world at present with 130 ships and one aircraft carrier.

He said the navy has rich maritime heritage and its current strength is of 55,000 people.

Asked when will the refitted former Russian aircraft carrier Gorshkov will join the navy, he said it is expected to join by 2012.

UNI JM SSS BDP RAI2314

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